Patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) often have accompanying hypertension, diabetes, and aberrant levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. This diverse group of risk factors is collectively known as "metabolic syndrome," but the underlying molecular mechanisms that link these disorders are still poorly understood. Mani et al. have identified the causative mutation in a family afflicted with a rare, inherited form of early-onset CAD that cosegregates with many features of metabolic syndrome. The culprit gene encodes low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 6 (LRP6), a co-receptor in the Wnt cellular signaling pathway.
A. Mani, J. Radhakrishnan, H. Wang, A. Mani, M.-A. Mani, C. Nelson-Williams, K. S. Carew, S. Mane, H. Najmabadi, D. Wu, R. P. Lifton, LRP6 mutation in a family with early coronary disease and metabolic risk factors. Science 315, 1278-1282 (2007). [Abstract] [Full Text]